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Sayyid al-Shuhada'

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This article is about an epithet of Imam al-Husayn (a). For Imam al-Husayn (a), see Imam al-Husayn (a).

Sayyid al-Shuhadāʾ (Arabic: سید الشهداء), meaning the Master of Martyrs, is the epithet the noble Prophet (s) gave to his uncle, Hamza b. 'Abd al-Muttalib, who was martyred in the Battle of Uhud and mutilated. This is also one of the most famous epithets of Imam al-Husayn (a).

Epithet of Hamza

The polytheists martyred Hamza in the Battle of Uhud and mutilated him.[1] Since then, he was called Sayyid al-Shuhada' by the Prophet (s).[2]

In most of the books of narration and history he is referred to as Sayyid al-Shuhada',[3] but other epithets have been used to refer to him as well such as Master of Martyrs of Heaven,[4] Master of the First and Last Martyrs except the Prophets and their successors,[5] Best of Martyrs,[6] The Supreme of Martyrs,[7] God and His Prophet's (s) Lion.[8]

Imam 'Ali (a), in the Six-Member Council, Imam al-Hasan (a), Imam al-Husayn (a) in the Event of 'Ashura', and Muhammad b. Hanafiyya in his sayings and arguments have always allured to Hamza's high position by referring to him with this epithet which shows the fact that Hamza had reached such a position to be called Sayyid al-Shuhada'. It was a source of pride for Banu Hashim and the Ahl al-Bayt (a) ever since.[9]

السَّلامُ عَلی عَمِّک حَمزة سَیدِالشُّهَداء: Peace on your uncle, Hamza, the Master of Martyrs.
  • and in the Ziyarah text of Hamza we read;
السَّلامُ عَلَیک یا عَمَّ رَسولِ اللّهِ وَ خیرَ الشُهَداء: Peace on you oh uncle of God's messenger, and best of Martyrs.[10]

Epithet of Imam al-Husayn (a)

This epithet was given to Imam al-Husayn (a) after his martyrdom as well. However, even before his martyrdom, some narrations by the Prophet (s) refer to him as Sayyid al-Shuhada'.[11]

It seems that this epithet became widely popular for Imam al-Husayn (a) during Imam al-Sadiq's era. One of the female companions of Imam al-Sadiq (a), an Iraqi woman called Umm Sa'id Ahmasiyya, had decided to visit the graves of the martyrs of Medina, when Imam al-Sadiq (a) asked her, "Why don't you visit the grave of the Sayyid al-Shuhada' of your own [town]?" Umm Sa'id, thinking that Imam al-Sadiq (a) is referring to Imam 'Ali (a) asked, "Who do you mean by Sayyid al-Shuhada'?" He replied, "Sayyid al-Shuhada' is al-Husayn b. 'Ali (a)."[12]

Explaining how both Hamza and Imam al-Husayn (s) have received the Sayyid al-Shuhada' epithet, Mulla Salih Mazandarani says that Hamza was the Sayyid al-Shuhada' of his time, whereas Imam al-Husayn (a) is the absolute Sayyid al-Shuhada'.[13] After Hamza's martyrdom, Lady Fatima (a) made a Misbaha from his grave's soil and used every knot to say a dhikr in her prayers. Now Shi'as make Misbahas from Imam al-Husayn's (a) soil (see: Turba).[14] Regarding the distinct quality of a Misbaha made from Imam al-Husayn's (a) soil, as compared to Hamza's soil, Imam al-Sadiq (a) says, "A Misbaha made of Imam al-Husayn's soil is blessed with the rewards of dhikr for only being onto one's hand even if he (the holder) himself is not uttering anything ."[15]

Epithet of Other Personalities

Beside Hamza and Imam al-Husayn (a), others have been referred to as Sayyid al-Shuhada' such as St. George the Prophet (a),[16] Bilal al-Habashi,[17] Ja'far b. Abi Talib,[18] and Mihja' b. 'Abd Allah, the first martyr of the Battle of Badr.[19]

In addition, the Prophet (s) has said that the next Sayyid al-Shuhada' after Hamza is the one who would go to an oppressive leader to enjoin him to the good and forbid him from doing the evil and is killed for doing so.[20]

Notes

  1. al-Waqidi, al-Maghazi, 1966, vol. 1, p. 290; al-Ya'qubi, Tarikh-i ya'qubi, vol. 2, p. 47
  2. See: al-Tabari, Dhakha'ir al-'uqba, p. 176; al-Sifadi, al-Wafi bi-l-wafayat, vol. 13, p. 170
  3. See: al-Baladhuri, Ansab al-ashraf, vol. 2, p. 394; al-Shaykh al-Saduq, al-Khisal, vol. 2, p. 412,555; al-Shaykh al-Mufid, al-Irshad, p. 37
  4. al-Shaykh al-Saduq, al-Khisal, vol. 1, p. 575
  5. Kitab-i Sulaym b. Qays, 133-134; al-Shaykh al-Saduq, Kamal al-din, p. 263-264
  6. Kitab-i Sulaym b. Qays, 133; al-Shaykh al-Tusi, al-Ghayba, p. 191; al-Tabari, Dhakha'ir al-'ugqba, p. 176
  7. al-Kufi, Tafsir Furat Kufi, p. 101; al-Shaykh al-Kulayni, al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 450
  8. al-Waqidi, al-Maghazi, vol. 1, p. 290; al-Shaykh al-Saduq, al-Khisal, vol. 1, p. 203-204; al-Shaykh al-Kulayni, al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 224
  9. See: Nahj al-balagha, Leter. 28; al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol. 5, p. 424; al-Shaykh al-Saduq, al-Khisal, vol. 1, p. 320; al-Shaykh al-Mufid, al-Irshad, vol. 2, p. 97; al-Shaykh al-Tusi, al-Amali, p. 546, 554, 563-564
  10. Ibn Qulawayh, Kamil al-ziyarat, p. 62
  11. Ibn Qulawayh, Kamil al-ziyarat, p. 142, 148
  12. Ibn Qulawayh, Kamil al-ziyarat, p. 142, 217-220; al-Shaykh al-Saduq, Thawab al-a'mal, 97-98
  13. Mazandarani, Sharh-i usul kafi, vol. 11, p. 368
  14. al-Tabrisi, Makarim al-akhlagh, p. 281; Najashafi, Jawahir al-kalam, vol. 10, p. 404-405
  15. al-Tabrisi, Makarim al-akhlagh, p. 281
  16. San'ani, Tafsir al-Qur'an, vol. 3, p. 5, 150; Ibn 'Asakir, Tarikh madinat Dimashq, vol. 64, p. 192
  17. al-Hiythami, Majma' al-zawa'id wa manba' al-fawa'id, vol. 9, p. 300
  18. Muttaqi al-Hindi, Kanz al-'Ummal, vol. 11, p. 661, vol. 13, p. 332
  19. al-Tha'labi, al-Kashf wa al-bayan, vol. 7, p. 270; Baqawi, Tafsir al-Baqawi, vol. 3, p. 460
  20. See: Jassas, Ahkamm al-Qur'an, vol. 2, p. 43; al-Tabari, Dhakha'ir al-'uqba, p. 176

References

  • Baladhuri, Ahmad b. Yahya al-. Ansab al-ashraf. Beirut: Mu'assisat al-'Ilmi li-l-Matbu'at, 1974.
  • Baqawi, Husayn b. Mas'ud. Tafsir al-Baqawi al-musamma ma'alim al-tanzil. Beirut: 'Abd al-Rahman 'Ak and Marwan Sawar, 1995.
  • Hiythami, Nur al-din al-. Majma' al-zawa'id wa manba' al-fawa'id, Beirut: 1988.
  • Ibn 'Asakir. Tarikh madina Damishq. Beirut: 'Ali Shiri, 1415AH.
  • Ibn Qulawayh, Ja'far b. Muhammad. Kamil al-ziyarat. Jawad Qayyumi.
  • Jassas, Ahmad b. 'Ali Radi. Ahkamm al-Qur'an. Beirut: 'Abd al-Salam Muhammad 'Ali Shahin, 1994.
  • Kitab-i Sulaym b. Qays. Qom: Muhammad Baqir Ansari Zanjani, 1420AH.
  • Kufi, Furat b. Ibrahim al-. Tafsir Furat al-Kufi. Tehran: Muhammad Kazim, 1990.
  • Kulayni, Muhammad b. Ya'qub al-. Al-Kafi. Tehran: 'Ali Akbar Ghaffari, 1363Sh.
  • Mazandarani, Muhammad Salih. Sharh-i usul kafi. Beirut: Abu al-Hasan Sha'rani, 2000.
  • Mufid, Muhammad b. Muhammad al-. Al-Irshad. Beirut: 1414AH - 1993.
  • Muttaqi al-Hindi, 'Ala' al-din 'Ali al-. Kanz al-'Ummal fi Sunan al-'Aqwal wa al-'Af'al. Beirut: 1989.
  • Nahj al-balagha. Beirut: Subhi Salih, 1416AH.
  • Najafi, Muhammad Hasan al-. Jawahir al-kalam fi sharh shara'i' al-Islam. Tehran: 'Abbas Quchani.
  • San'ani, 'Abd al-Razaq. Tafsir al-Qur'n. Riyadh: Mustafa Salam Muhammad, 1989.
  • Shaykh al-Saduq, Muhammad b. 'Ali b. Babiwayh al-. Al-Khisal. Qom: 'Ali Akbar Ghaffari, 1403AH.
  • Shaykh al-Saduq, Muhammad b. 'Ali b. Babiwayh al-. Kamal al-din wa tamam al-ni'ma. Qom: 'Ali Akbar Ghaffari, 1405AH.
  • Shaykh al-Saduq, Muhammad b. 'Ali b. Babiwayh al-. Thawab al-'amal. Qom: Muhammad Mahdi Khurasani, 1364Sh.
  • Sifadi, Salah al-din al-. Al-Wafi bi-l-wafayat.
  • Tabari, Ahmad b. 'Abd Allah al-. Dhakha'ir al-'uqba fi Maaqib dhawi al-Qurba. Cairo: 1356AH.
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References

Name Titles Kunya Day of Birth Year of
Birth
Birth
place
Day of Martyrdom Year of
Martyrdom
Place of
Martyrdom
Imamate Duration of
Imamate
Mother's name
'Ali b. Abi Talib (a) Amir al-Mu'minin Abu l-Hasan 13 Rajab/1 October 30 'Am al-fil/600 Ka'ba 21 Ramadan/31 January 40/661 Kufa 11/632-40/661 29 years Fatima bt. Asad
al-Hasan b. 'Ali (a) Al-Mujtaba Abu Muhammad 15 Ramadan/4 March 3/625 Medina 28 Safar/30 March 50/670 Medina 40/661-50/670 10 years Lady Fatima (a)
al-Husayn b. 'Ali (a) Sayyid al-Shuhada' Abu 'Abd Allah 3 Sha'ban/11 January 4/626 10 Muharram/10 October 61/680 Karbala 50/670-61/680 10 years
'Ali b. al-Husayn (a) al-Sajjad, Zayn al-'abidin Abu l-Hasan 5 Sha'ban/9 January 38/658 25 Muharram/24 October 95/713 Medina 61/680-95/713 35 years Shahrbanu
Muhammad b. 'Ali (a) Baqir al-'ulum Abu Ja'far 1 Rajab/13 May 57/677 7 Dhu l-Hijja/1 February 114/733 95/713-114/733 19 years Fatima
Ja'far b. Muhammad (a) al-Sadiq Abu 'Abd Allah 17 Rabi' I/24 April 83/704 25 Shawwal /18 December 148/765 114/733-148/765 34 years Fatima
Musa b. Ja'far (a) al-Kazim Abu l-Hasan 7 Safar/12 November 128745 25 Rajab/5 September 183/799 Kadhimiyya 148/765-183/799 35 years Hamida al-Barbariyya
'Ali b. Musa (a) al-Rida Abu l-Hasan 11 Dhu l-Qa'da/2 January 148/766 End of Safar/9 September 203/818 Mashhad 183/799-203/818 20 years Najma
Muhammad b. 'Ali (a) al-Taqi, al-Jawad Abu Ja'far 10 Rajab/12 April 195/811 End of Dhu l-Qa'da/29 November 220/835 Kadhimiyya 203/818-220/835 17 years Sabika
'Ali b. Muhammad (a) al-Hadi, al-Naqi Abu l-Hasan 15 Dhu l-Hijja/10 March 212/828 3 Rajab/2 July 254/868 Samarra 220/835-254/868 34 years Samana al-Maghribiyya
al-Hasan b. 'Ali (a) al-Zakiyy, al-'Askari Abu Muhammad 10 Rabi' II/8 December 232/846 8 Rabi' I/5 January 260/874 254/868-260/874 6 years Hudayth
Hujja b. al-Hasan (a) al-Qa'im Abu l-Qasim 15 Sha'ban/2 August 255/289 Samarra
Since 260/874 up to(1439)
Narjis